Monday, July 10, 2006

Lovelock's thinking outside of Gaia paradox

Corresponding with a friend, I search the Mabinogogiblog for James Lovelock. Nothing here.

So i copy this across from my website:

"...Gaia moves in cycles that interact in mutually complementary ways, sometimes facilitating each other and sometimes inhibiting each other. We must leave behind our old ways of thinking in isolated, linear, cause and effect modules, and learn to think in the way that nature moves, in interrelated web-like systems.

The paradox is that nuclear power is an outstanding example of linear thinking. You dig out your uranium, you burn it, and then you bury it (or fire it off into the sun or something, whatever). From a systems point of view, the main thing to bear in mind is that you must try to cause as few cancers as you can reasonably get away with, which means isolating the nuclear cycle as best you can from the rest of nature; (and of course, you have make sure that nobody with brown skin gets hold of nuclear power, because they might develop nuclear weapons from it, and give them to Osama bin Laden).

When I put this systems argument to James Lovelock, his only response was that nuclear fission reactions have occurred in nature. This is true; but asteroid hits are also a part of nature, but this does not mean that we should contemplating attracting asteroid hits in an effort to extract energy from them. His response is not a valid defence of his position, and the systems argument against nuclear power still stands... " [from Greenhealth]
Furthermore, I went to Bristol last month to hear James Lovelock at the Arnolfini.

He presents a picture of inevitable severe global warming turning most of the world into a waterless desert, with an enclave of "civilisation" preserved near the poles by the stop-gap means of nuclear electricity. It was unstated how the rest of the world was to be kept out of this little oasis, but I presume it would involve hurling depleted uranium at them and zapping them with bolts of nuclear electricity.

Jim's "vision" of the future contains a strange paradox. The inventor of Gaia, a planetary system where everything interconnects with everything else, seeks salvation in nuclear power, a linear process which must be kept separate (as much as possible) from the rest of Gaia. Not to mention an elite corps of "civilisation" (the same idiots, no doubt, who have led us in to this ruinous state) separated from the rest of doomed humanity.

Against this Private Frazer analysis, greens argue for a systemic approach beginning with a paradigm shift, a //">, and a response to the threat using a multiplicity of means: energy efficiency, diverse modalities of renewable energy, and extensive carbon sinks.

Jim Lovelock is an intellectual Samson who got into bed with the Delilah of nuclear power. His remaining job is to break the pillars of the intellectual edifice of the cornucopian world view. IMHO

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